Joseph: The remaining realms within Mexico bereft of a temple to call their own are hard to find. That’s thanks in large part to the vision of President Gordon B. Hinckley to bring small temples within close range to clusters of Saints throughout the world. Nowhere is that vision more evident in the years that followed than Mexico, where 10 of the Latin American nation’s 13 temples are of these so-called Hinckley era mini temples. That will likely change with the stunning design for the Puebla temple, but for now, it’s Mexico City, Tijuana, and Monterrey, then a bunch of mini-temples.
Even so, there are a few destinations where members still have quite the journey should they desire to worship at a House of the Lord, get sealed, do baptisms for the dead or simply soak in the peace of the beautiful temple grounds. The trick is—and I’m getting to Leon, I promise—unlike Puebla, which was announced to get its own temple last conference, there’s no singular location in Mexico that sticks out as an obvious spot. Last conference we highlighted the Durango city of Torreón, and made a pretty compelling case. But upon closer inspection, the 1.6 Million people who live in the metro area of Leon, of itself the nation’s 4th largest municipality, may be ripe for the picking, or, um, predicting.
A temple in Leon would be the first temple in Mexico’s state of Guanajuato. It would likely draw on both the Mexico City and Guadalajara temple districts, the former being still among the most saturated temple districts in the world (counting the number of stakes belonging to it), Puebla notwithstanding. Its geographic location doesn’t satisfy the 200-mile radius gap on our map as much as a temple in Durango would, but it could arguably bring more latter-day saints within a closer proximity than an outpost temple in Sinaloa would.
Like many of Mexico’s major cities, Leon is abundant with stunning architecture, beautiful churches, cathedrals, cultural monuments and palaces. A perfect milieu to add another offering to, and from which to draw inspiration. Plus, it’s the hometown of Jeb! Bush’s wife. To which I say, Geoff, please clap.
Geoff: Alright, I teased you about being political, but Jeb! Bush’s “please clap” was an all timer. O, to revisit 2016 again. We were so young and naive.
Anyway, you make a great case! Mexico is sort of the John McCain among these predictions: It’s rogue. It does what it wants. No one knows what will come from Mexico next. It is, as you say, increasingly difficult to predict temples in the United States of Mexico, so I will give this one to you, with my compliments. If I’m wrong, you have to substitute all of your local fry sauce consumption with bottled Mayochup. Also, you need to buy me a Sodalicious franchise so I can burn it to the ground.
Heck, we already have a meetinghouse near the Jardines del Tiempo, which is a cemetery. If we build a temple nearby, which honors the dead even further, we could have the cemetery and park renamed Jardines del Templo. You see what I did there?
Argument against: Leon is already within Guadalajara’s radius and on the periphery of Mexico City’s temple.